Archive for the ‘Allt-A-Bhannie’ Category

Edition Spirits Allt-A-Bhannie 1993 (24 year old) 52.9%

Bourbon/ Code: EDI0282/ Dist: May 1993 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

A dense, rich and violety nose with apricot and gooseberry notes punctuating the dark-ish honey. The aromas are stunningly mature and dusty with subtle oxidised fruit and sweet spice.

The palate is dense, but strangely a little flat with dark honey, mature oak and hints of rhubarb, gooseberry and lime. It does liven a little on the middle as the citrus kicks in. Medium length with lingering Cognac-esque dried fruit, violets and wood spice.


Coopers Choice Allt-A-Bhannie 1993 (22 year old) 46%

Cask 9338. Port Finish/ Dist: 1993 Btl: 2015/ Tasted: May 2016

A pleasant nose of sweet and spicy redcurrant/ sherry with hints of dusty spice and wood smoke. The finish is relatively gentle as a touch of perfumed barley can be discerned along with some apricot, malt and earth.

The palate is relatively elegant and spicy with cinnamon and clove mingling with some fruit pastille-like red fruit and a fair amount of tannin. Hints of straw and barley come through on the middle. Good length with lingering dry woody spice and port notes. Although pleasant I would want a lot more complexity for a £95 price tag!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Allt-A-Bhannie 1996 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2407/ Dist: June 1996 Btl: Aug 2014/ Tasted: Sept 2014

The aromas are a little spirity but fresh with menthol, pear, white fruit and grass. Hints of butterscotch. walnut kernel and a slight baked fruit aroma appears. With time hints of thyme and rye-like herbal notes.

The palate is quite sweet and toffee’d with candied white fruit, bruised apple, shortbread and again the rye-like herbalness. Good, lightly oiled finish with a soupcon of bitter spice in the after-taste.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Allt-A-Bhainne 1995 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2446/ Dist: Nov 1995 Btl: 2017(?)/ Tasted: May 2017

A pleasantly tropical and honeyed nose with peach, apricot, banana, kiwi and lime. Slightly sherbety with a touch of barley, juniper and subtle oak. With time a little baked fruit note appears along with a grainy/ mineral note.

The palate is soft but vibrant with honey, barley and oak. Again, pleasantly fruity with apricot, crisp green apple, lime, gooseberry and dusty, mature oak. The finish is tart, minerally and a little austere with lingering marzipan.

I don’t tend to dilute 50% bottlings but I wondered if a drop of ater might take the edge of the citrus and it does. The nose is juicier now and the palate shows a little more creamy oak and honey, plus the finish isn’t quite as austere.

Gordon & MacPhails ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ Allt-a-Bhannie 1995 (14 year old) 43%

Refill Sherry Hogshead/ Dist: 1995 Btl: Nov 2009/ Tasted: May 2012

Quite a full and oily nose with plenty of cereal and barley. Gently spiced with the extremely subtle sherry oak sitting in the background. With time it becomes quite nutty with some herbal spirit notes. The oak becomes quite creamy and more American in style, but not intrusively so.

The palate is soft and creamy with some pleasant, slightly spicy barley notes, sprinkled with granulated sugar. Relatively full bodied and again there is not much sherry cask influence. Good length with a refreshing crispness along with a touch of bitterness on the finish. A pleasant aperitif malt.

Gordon & MacPhails Connoisseurs Choice Allt-a-Bhannie 1996 (18 year old) 46%

Refill American Hogshead/ Dist: 1996 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: Dec 2015

Aromas of bubblegummy white fruit, straw, sweet oak and balancing fresh citrus and green apple.

Crisp and very citric on the palate with white fruit, oily barley and like the nose a slight bubblegummy intimation. Hints of green apple, straw and grass come through on the middle, leading to a tart, puckering, almost salty finish. Thankfully the creaminess of the oak balances.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Allt-A-Bhannie 2000 (11 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Code: PRV0734/ Dist Jan 2000 Btl: Oct 2011/ Tasted: Oct 2011

A lightly spiced, herbal and grassy nose with some crisp fruit, honey and exceedingly subtle sherry notes. The palate is a bit on the sweet and toffee’d side but there is enough grassy, citrus fruit to offset. Slightly winey with some nutty sherry notes on the middle and a long, warming finish with hints of moist fruit cake. All in all a very pleasant Spey with a good integration of spirit and cask.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Allt-a-Bhainne 2000 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon/Code: PRV0942/Dist: Jul 2000 Btl: Nov 2012/ Tasted: Nov 2012

A pungent nose of lightly oiled cereal, oat cakes and herbal bran flakes. With time there is some pleasant honey and biscuit spice (get the theme?!). It’s almost water-white in colour, which gives a clue to how little an impression the oak has made on it. 

The palate is soft and again quite cereally with baked apple, light honey and a light vanilla note. Gently spiced middle, medium length with a touch of barley and buscuity notes.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Allt-A-Bhainne 2000 (12 year old) 46%

Sherry (?)/ Code: PRV0970/ Dist: Jul 2000 Btl: May 2013/ Tasted: June 2013

An exuberantly juicy nose of orange, satsuma and buckets of honey and spice along with a touch of creamy oak and late floral notes. A lovely intensity and very impressive for Allt-A-Bhainne. 

The palate opens quite sweetly with juicy orange and satsuma, plus golden syrup coated barley. It opens into a lovely warm, spicy middle followed by a touch of light honey, warm vanilla and grass. Good length with a very mineral finish, which is balanced by some late, granulated sugar notes.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Allt-A-Bhainne 2000 (16 year old) 48.4%

Sherry Butt/ Code: OLD345/ DL11338

Dist: July 2000 Btl: Sept 2016/ Tasted: July 2017

Aromas of nettle leaves and herbal sherry, followed by turmeric coated dried fruit, wood spice and a subtle, edgy barley note.

The palate is soft and quite sweet with sherried dried fruit, herbs and coffee. Mouth-filling with developing edgy barley and subtle woody notes, tea leaves and tobacco on the middle. Long and spicy with sweet fruit and herbs in the finish.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Allt-A-Bhannie 1996 (18 year old) 48.4%

Bourbon/ Code: OLD0104/ Dist: June 1996 Btl: July 2014/ Tasted: Aug 2014

A very sweet and honeyed nose of gristy barley and slightly tropical apricot and pineapple. Exceedingly voluptuous, especially by Allt-A-Bhannie standards!

The palate leads off with the vanilla oak, cream and apricot followed by some barley sugar and a touch of orange. Like the nose it is quite sweet and reasonably voluptuous with a lovely, spicy finish and lingering honey notes.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Allt-A-Bhannie 1995 (21 year old) 49.6%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0482/DL12038

Dist: Nov 1995 Btl: Aug 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

A dusty and slightly coffee’d nose with white pepper, barley and a touch of baked fruit. Subtle honey appears along with creamy vanilla, wood smoke and a slight rose petal edge.

The palate opens with creamy vanilla, butterscotch and barley along with some baked apple. Straightforward but pleasantly deep with a touch of citrus and straw on the middle. Medium length with sharp citrus, almond and dusty barley.


Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Allt-A-Bhainne 1996 (16 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2161/ Dist: Dec 1996 Btl: Aug 2012/ Tasted: Aug 2012

A pure, herbal honey and toffee nose, with hints of refill sherried dried fruit and spice. Quite full with baked apple and a light balsamic nose.

Quite toffee’d on the palate as well with that baked apple character evident too. Quite full with some gentle dried grape and sweet spices. Very spicy on the middle with a smidge of black pepper and more sweet spices. Rather enjoyable.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Allt-A-Bhannie 1993 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2084/ Dist Feb 1993 Btl: Oct 2011/ Tasted: Oct 2011

A quite attractive nose of crisp citrus, barley, earth, white liquorice along with a touch of creamy/ toffee’d orange fruit. Light and relatively floral with time.

The palate is soft and reasonably full and very citrusy. The gentle spices build amidst the toffee. Good length and still very citrusy throughout. Lovely zesty, spicy finish. To be honest I pondered this quite long and hard, and I concluded that if this retailed at say just under 50 quid then I’d go for it but I don’t believe its complex enough to warrant a £63.95 price tag.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Allt-A-Bhannie 1991 (21 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2199/ Dist May 1991 Btl Oct 2012/ Tasted Oct 2012

A rich, sweet and nutty nose showing some hazelnut kernel, juicy sherry and hints of malt, liquorice, dark spices and balsamic. With time it becomes quite herbal.

The palate is sweet and malty, quite full bodied and rather spicy. Sweetly sherried with plenty of tannins and a touch of marzipan. It’s livened up by a shot of tart citrus on the middle, which as it fades allows the oak notes of cedar and tobacco to return. Quite pleasant with some late Oloroso leafiness.

Murray McDavid Allt-A-Bhainne 1996 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon & French Oak / Dist: 1996 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Feb 2010

A very winey nose, dominated completely by the French oak, there’s some hints of straw, manure and white chocolate, but that’s about it.

The palate is soft and begins with a sugary-vanilla start, followed by the French oak (caramel-butter-toffee) putting the boot in to any vague semblance to distillery character. Short and dry with some grassy notes before the vanilla and butter returns.

James MacArthur Old Masters Allt-A-Bhannie 1996 (11 year old) 56.9%

Sherry Cask 107158/ Dist: 1996 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Dec 2008

A rich, sherry infused orange fruit nose with hints of coffee, bark and leafy notes. There’s a touch of sweet natural caramel, bracken and a slightly floral top note. The palate is also quiet leafy and herbaceous with the sherry cask influence obvious from the start. The alcohol masks the palate somewhat but its mouth wateringly intense. Good length which finishes with dark chocolate orange and fern/ wood notes.

Water makes the nose a tad liner but adds notes of liquorice and pine needles. On the palate it subdues the alcohol allowing it to become more herbaceous with a juniper and coriander note appearing. An all round excellent sherry cask.

James MacArthur Old Masters Allt-a-Bhainne 1995 (16 year old) 54.7%

Bourbon Cask 125282/ Dist: Aug 1995 Btl: 2011/ Tasted: Nov 2011

A bit too well endowed in the oak department I think. Loads of buttery shortcake and caramel aromas, which over time develops a burnt nuance. There are some hints of lemon curd and barley along with a late earthy note but it is the oak which is the dominating factor. 

The palate opens with the tight, tart, minerally lemon but the burnt caramel oak quickly arrives. Piquant alcohol see’s that off and the grassy citric notes return in the finish. 

A drop of water brings out some sherberty orange notes but that burnt caramel character lingers. On the palate dilution removes the oak completely and reveals the spirit to be a bit long in the tooth – sugary sweet and somewhat homogenous.

James MacArthur Old Masters Allt-A-Bhainne 1995 (16 year old) 54.7%

Bourbon cask 125282

Dist: 1995 Btl: 2011

Re-Tasted: Nov 2012

A very dense and malty nose with earth, brown sugar and a touch of fresh lime juice mingle with some old wood notes and a touch of rose petal marc. 

Dense and malty. Relatively straightforward but wonderfully deep. A big hit of sweet spices greets the middle before the lightly herbal/ camphor laced malt returns. Still very spicy through to the end with just a slight bittering as the oak puts in an appearance. 

Dilution makes the aromas seriously juicy with a light orange/ tangerine note along with some lightly sugar dusted barley. The oak has become wonderfully sweet too! The palate is softer and less dense with more of the lightly creamy oak, but there’s no diminishing the lovely spices. A little short now but finishing pleasantly herbal.